My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, who is young; his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ (Genesis 44:19-20)
Throughout the different encounters that the brothers had with the Egyptian lord, they had never really spoken of the one brother no longer with them. It was in the critical state of mind that Judah decides to mention Joseph as being dead. Of course, he knew that the last time he saw him he wasn’t dead but was being led away in bonds. Perhaps they believed that he was dead by this time, given the fact that he was taken as a slave. That is no doubt what all the brothers thought; it is certainly what Israel (the man and the nation) believed. That belief set the stage for the greatest of miracles — “resurrection” from the dead will bring life back to Israel and his family.
There are a couple of things to consider in this situation: first, what we believe might not always be a reflection of the truth. Perhaps a better way to put it would be “what we perceive” based on what we can see. In other words, what we see in front of us can’t help but affect how we think and conclusions we come to. However, the Bible tells us that faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). It takes an authentic faith to believe that something or someone can be resurrected when all the “evidence” seems to say otherwise.
Resurrection from the dead is how the Creator demonstrates that He alone has the final say in any matter. To underscore the point, He told prophet after prophet that He would regather all of His people from the various nations and bring them back into their land — and against all odds! This miracle is likened unto bringing them out of their graves and resurrecting them from the dead (Ezekiel 37:12-13). The point is, what we perceive and thus believe might not be reality. It just might be that what we believe to be “dead” is not; it might be that God is simply preparing our hearts to receive one of the greatest miracles we will ever witness in this life. Let’s believe for that!
Blessings and Shalom,